In consideration of the rapid technological development and the quickening pace of digitalisation in society, the participating institutions wish to contribute to the long-term employability of their computer science graduates and to the training of future IT leaders through Fit Europe (the name stands for Future IT Leaders for a Multicultural, Digital Europe). Launched in October 2019, the project is set to run for 36 months and involves the University of Passau, INSA Lyon (France), the University of Milan (Italy), Politehnica Bucharest (Romania) and four companies in the fields of artificial intelligence and big data. It is funded by the European Union's Erasmus+ programme.
Fit Europe’s approach is two-pronged: First, the project hosts regular events with a focus on current trends and future topics. "Controversial topics are always up for discussion", said Professor Harald Kosch, Chair of Distributed Information Systems at the University of Passau. "For example, in the first seminar, which we hosted virtually in February, this was the question of the social and ethical implications of big data." In early June, INSA Lyon hosted an event devoted to the impact of the platform economy on business models, which placed a special focus on blockchain technology and included a discussion with representatives from a number of start-ups.
Second, Fit Europe encourages continual exchange and networking to promote strong interlinkages between academia and the business world. Getting the business community involved puts the limelight on aspects of entrepreneurship and facilitates a differentiated approach. "Our participants don't just deal with individual issues in a purely technical, abstract way", explained Axelle Cheney, who coordinates the programme at the University of Passau. "The topics are considered in equal measure from a wide range of vantage points – ethical, societal, legal and even from a business and human-resources perspective." This broad, multi-layered approach serves to broaden the participants' view, widening the focus to include not only the purely technical aspects of new technologies but also their impact on society as a whole, making them fit for Europe’s future.
For more information on Fit Europe visit the project website at https://fit-europe.eu/index.html.